Prepping for Self-Reliance over a Decade: How ... : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Stan Faryna mentioned something on the other forum about the incompleteness of the Y2K preps for self-reliance of even some truly dedicated preppers. This reminded me of Bill Schwenker's comment on this forum about a month ago that a self-reliant life takes a decade to develop.

No doubt.

Though we always gardened and had a set of other skills, we have added numerous additional ones to our family over the past couple of years. We could now take care of 90% of our food needs indefinitely (vegetables, meat, milk, some fruits, grains) as well as meet a range of other requirements. However, we could not live indefinitely off-the-grid (two years), etc.

I'm not suggesting that total self-sufficiency, mind you, is the goal nor that we should build a society that is Amish. No thanks. Actually, technology has the potential of enabling people to choose self-reliance (off-grid power is exactly one such capability).

I'm thinking more about this:

What are the types of skills, capabilities and strategies we might take to move towards additional self-reliance step by step?

How can we do that in a way that is expansive and joyful, rather than frenzied? For those of us who prepped extensively for Y2K, the ability to prep peacefully and steadily is itself a joy.

And, considering that many of us have highly constrained budgets, how and what should we prioritize?

These are not academic questions for us but highly practical.

-- BigDog (, January 15, 2000


Self reliance becomes easier if you prioritize
your needs. It is also important to understand
desire and how to get a handle on it. Also
happiness is not defined by how much you have
but by the realization that life is your source
of joy.

As your needs become less, your ability to take
care of the one's that are left becomes much

Fun and recreation do not need to be costly
persuits. There is much to do that does not
need money or that does not consume resources.

Developing a lifestyle that breaks your reliance
on doctors, lawyers, mechanics and other
professionals helps. We can make most of what we
need like clothing and food from sources that are
free or not very expensive. Used cloth can usually
be found for free. Much food can be gleaned from
fields after harvest as has been done for thousands
of years. What you don't glean you can grow. There
is also a wealth of free wild food in any
undeveloped area. The natives of this country relied
on these foods for thousands of years.

Living in a community of like minded people that
share their individual expertise helps lessen the
amount of knowledge any individual needs to learn.
This is one of the most difficult tasks as one
needs to give up much ego so that many egos can
co-exist in harmony.

-- spider (, January 15, 2000.

Once you take such a long-term approach to it, prepping, self reliance or whatever you choose to call it becomes more than an activity- it becomes a lifestyle. About twenty years ago there was a concerted "back to the land" movement, at least a part of which was due to the so-called survivalist movement which took place at that time- and, as I have said before, "felt" in some ways very similar to the whole y2k excitement. (Note: the world didn't end twenty years ago either, in spite of seemingly well-informed concerns to the contrary.)

Anyone interested in pursuing a self-determined lifestyle has a number of paths to choose from today. There are urban peasants, techno-peasants, homesteaders and all sorts of people living a variety of lifestyles and using varying levels of technology in the process. The important thing is that THEY choose what and how to live, and THEY exercise control over their technology rather than vice versa.

The lifestyle choice to be independent to whatever degree will be determined as much by what a person knows how to do as by the things that person has. Your most important resource is- YOU. Invest in yourself, increase your skill set, learn and do new things (new for you, that is) that will free you from having to pay others do them for you and perhaps add to your income in one way or another. Unshackle yourself from the limitations that have been imposed by yourself, your family, your education, experience or culture. Get your hands dirty. Turn off the TV (heck, sell it- it's nothing but a time/mind parasite anyway) and use the time to better advantage reading or studying or learning to DO something.

The biggest thing I have seen happen in the past few years is the rise in the number of people who follow the old Sixties adage "Question authority." I am glad to see people looking for truth in other places than out of the mouth pf Peter Jennings or Dan Rather. I continue to hope for and encourage a growth in critical thinking skills, research and analysis skills and discrimination and discernment on the part of each individual who has some important life choices to make at the dawn of the 21st century.

The decision to seek a different lifestyle, more under your own control, may still be more important than you know. Though rollover has passed pretty much uneventfully, there is still a vast uncertain future ahead (for one analyst's ideas of just how uncertain, see In my heart of hearts I believe that the more independent you are, the better off you will be, regardless of what else happens. Y2K was a good start toward a more independent and self reliant lifestyle for a lot of people. This is no time to get off that path.

-- Lee (, January 15, 2000.

Great questions, Bigdog. Great thread. Hopefully, we can all find some time to give such things more of our attention. As Lee points out, "Y2K was a good start toward a more independent and self reliant lifestyle for a lot of people. This is no time to get off that path." It was a good start for me, and I feel that my intense attention to Y2K before the rollover remains meaningful in light of my continued interest in living smarter. Beyond learning skills (which I see as very important), I think it is critical that we not pay less attention to the possibility for community (and not necessarily communes) and cooperation. Should hard times come for whatever reasons, it is a community that has the opportunity to thrive in many ways as opposed to a family that meanly survives as long as the resources hold out.

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, January 19, 2000.

P.S. Perhaps this thread would get some more attention if reposted on the old TB2000 forum.

-- Stan Faryna (, January 19, 2000.

Stan -- agree about community. This needs to continue online but run parallel in the localites where we live - whether urban, suburban or rural.

I'm not sure reposting this to TB2K would draw useful conversation at this stage in that board's development!

-- BigDog (, January 20, 2000.

Big Dog,

One thing that has occured to me several times since I learned about Y2K is that we will all have different ideas about how self-reliant we want to be and what self-reliance actually means to each of us-- at least for those of us who are attracted to a way of life that seems counter cultural. Some may want to attempt to build a way of life that would see them through something like a nuclear war, apocalypse, or however such terrors may be imagined. But most, I imagine, would be content to build a way of life that is more personally rewarding in its intentionality and ownership than adequacy for teotwawki events. In fact, GIs took very different approaches to preparing for the risks (likely, less likely, and unlikely) associated with Y2K... and they took those approaches for a variety of personal and practical reasons.

What do you imagine that your 10 years will provide you and your family?

Sincerely, Stan Faryna

-- Stan Faryna (, January 21, 2000.

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